CLEVELAND: Camus Cognac, the fifth largest seller of cognac worldwide, has hired Thorp & Co to help it become established in the US.
Camus plans to spend $200,000 this year on US marketing.
"We have been pretty much unknown in the US for the past 20 years," explained Laurent Fortin, VP of US sales for France-based Camus. "Most of out budget is going to be spent on PR and public outreach."
Camus has been building a US distributor network the past two years and is now ready to talk to consumers about its products, which include Borderies XO and Josephine cognacs.
Camus decided to work with a boutique PR shop rather than a larger agency because as a family-owned company it is more comfortable working with smaller organizations, Fortin said.
Coral Gables, FL-based Thorp has worked for such beverage clients as Seagram and Evian, said SVP David Schull.
Thorp is creating a database of food and wine connoisseurs who will be invited to events featuring Camus products and fine foods. It also will be emphasizing the company's first worldwide branding slogan, "Camus & Us," which positions the brand as something to share with friends and family.